Monday, June 24

Black Friday Buyer’s Guide: PS5 or Xbox Series X/S?

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Both the Xbox Series X/S and the PS5 have been out for two years now, marking a fair period of judgement for Microsoft and Sony’s ninth generation consoles. Since their respective November 2020 releases, the two gaming systems have sold millions, but fans are still divided on which one is the better purchase. We’re here to help you with that, and with Black Friday on the way, what better way than to find out which is better – Xbox Series X/S or Playstation 5?

Quick breakdown

For the uninitiated, the Playstation 5 is Sony’s successor to the PS4, which features two different models: the standard 1TB model with a disc drive, and a digital-only PS5 model with no disc drive and a slightly thinner body.
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The Xbox Series X is the flagship of Xbox’s 2 console line-up, featuring a 1TB hard-drive and disc drive. On the other hand, the Series S is a smaller, discless version with a 512GB hard drive and a little less power, although it can play all the games that the Series X can.

Current Pricing (November 2022)

Below is the local pricing for each console model:
    • Xbox Series X: R11,999
    • Xbox Series S: R6,999
    • Playstation 5 standard edition – R11,999
    • Playstation 5 Digital-Only Discless model – R9,999

Specs

Playstation 5: The PS5 (and its digital alternative) are rocking an AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a custom RDNA 2 AMD GPU that puts out 10.28 TFLOPs of processing power. The digital-only Playstation 5 ditches the disc-drive in order to save cost and space. Xbox Series X: The Series X is a processing beast, with AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures providing 12 teraflops of power. It supports ray tracing, it can render up to 4K (3,840-by-2,160) resolution at up to 120 frames per second, and it’s “8K ready,” which indicates it can upscale to that resolution. Xbox Series S: The Series S uses the same AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture at the Series X, but it has only 4 TFLOPS of processing power. It also has 10GB of RAM compared to the X’s 16GB, meaning the Series S has a much lower rendering resolution ceiling of 1440p. It can still handle ray tracing, and supports 1440p at up to 120 frames per second, but games won’t render at 4K. The system still upscales to 4K, so it’ll look fine on your 4K TV, but don’t expect quite as much sharpness, smoothness, or overall detail.

Digital Subscriptions

Xbox GamePass has proven to be a huge drawcard for the Xbox consoles, providing Xbox gamers with over a hundred games to download and play, including all first-party Xbox titles. On top of that, EA Play is bundled in too, so you get a load of EA games with your GamePass subscription. GamePass Ultimate (which includes GamePass for PC and console and some extra perks) is priced at R119 p/m, while standard GamePass is R79 p/m for console or PC. Sony recently revamped the PS Plus service, so instead of getting access to a handful of games on a rotational basis each month as was the case with Playstation Plus before, the new service has a larger catalogue of games with everything from PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5 games available to play. The new PlayStation Plus enhancements, which are made up of three tiers, include an expanded library of games to play. The three tiers include Playstation Plus Essential (basically the current version of PS Plus), Playstation Plus Extra (adds a catalogue of PS4 and PS5 games to play, alongside other extras), Playstation Plus Deluxe (adds PS4, PS5, PS3 via cloud streaming, PS2, and PSP games, trials for new games, and other extras). South African pricing for the Playstation Plus service is as follows:
    • Playstation Plus Deluxe – R209 for one month | R609 for 3 months | R1,429 for 12 months
    • Playstation Plus Extra – R179 for one month | R519 for 3 months | R1,239 for 12 months
    • Playstation Plus Essential – R119 for one month | R319 for 3 months | R749 for 12 months

What about the games themselves?

Of course, as is the case with every console, the value really comes down to the games you can play on it. In terms of current flagship exclusives for both consoles, here’s what’s available: Best PS5 exclusives*:
    • Horizon: Forbidden West
    • God of War: Ragnarok
    • Demon’s Souls Remake
    • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
    • Returnal
    • Gran Turismo 7
    • Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut
    • The Last of Us Part 1
    • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
    • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered
*Some of the above games are available on PS4 and PC too. Best Xbox Series X/S exclusives*: Admittedly, the Xbox Series X/S consoles don’t have that many dedicated exclusives for those particular systems, as Microsoft has been making an effort to release the games on the past generation Xbox One too. Games like Gears 5, Forza Horizon 5, and Sea of Thieves are Xbox/PC-only games, but ones which feature on Xbox One also. Dedicated Xbox Series X exclusives include:
    • Halo Infinite
    • Microsoft’s Flight Simulator
*Some of the above games are available on PC too.

    PriceCheck Tip – Which one to buy?

    At the end of the day, this console battle all comes down to personal preference. Don’t be too swayed by the specs and numbers of each machine, and rather look at what game libraries are available for each, as well as the upcoming releases which tickle your fancy. Once you’ve assessed that, you can make an educated decision.
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